Full disclosure: I am a massive Nigella fan and in my eyes the woman can do no wrong!
Over the weekend I listened to the No Filter podcast with Mia Freedman and Nigella Lawson. The culinary queen’s words on food and how she lives her life were so simple and beautiful, it got me thinking about my life and how I want to be when I’m fully recovered.
For so long I’ve thought my goal was to be an intuitive eater; to be so honed into my body’s signals that I’d always know exactly what it needs and wants all the time. But I’m beginning to think that might be overthinking (and overcomplicating) it …again.
Nigella isn’t involved in the eating disorder recovery world, so when she talks about her approach to food and how she thinks about eating, she doesn’t refer to the principles of Intuitive Eating or the scientific evidence behind it all. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. As you know, we are MASSIVE fans of evidence-based research and advice!) She simply states that people should eat what they want, because in her view, imposing food rules can very easily lead to self-loathing.
Now I’m fully aware Nigella’s approach to eating actually is intuitive eating, but there is something so refreshing and beautiful about the way she doesn’t label it. She doesn’t provide a lengthy justification. Doesn’t offer an extensive argument against any other approach. She just sees food for what it is, appreciates it and knows there’s no need to overcomplicate things with rules and restrictions.
I truly hope to someday embrace the kind of approach to food and eating Nigella has. I would hate to recover and do away with ED rules, only to find myself rigidly bound by a new set of eating principles. I don’t want to overthink my body’s signals or spend any more of my time than is absolutely necessary thinking about eating.
Please don’t misunderstand me at all. This isn’t meant as a slight against Intuitive Eating. I actually think it’s amazing and the people behind it are geniuses! And it’s clearly been a wonderful tool for so many people (and I’m sure will continue to change lives for the better). But for me, personally, I’ve spent so long feeling exhausted because my mind will not let me think about anything other than food and eating. And I’m ready for that to stop. I’m ready for complexity to become simplicity.
I want to be like Nigella, and I think this quote sums up why: “I always try to order want I want to eat, rather than what I feel I ought to eat, because I think that’s where trouble starts. And sometimes, it might be… I just want a really good plate of chips.”